Ventana Big Sur, an Alila Resort – Adults Only
What We Love
- On-site art gallery (just outside the restaurant) features work by local artists and craftspeople
- Two Japanese hot baths are serene spots to unwind and stargaze
- The impressive library, stocked with 1,200 books, is a bibliophile's heaven
What To Know
- This is an adults-only resort
- The ocean views are impressive but distant
- There are two identical pool areas—one is clothing-optional, the other for the more modest
- Adults Only
- Eco friendly
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Built in 1975 by Hollywood producer Lawrence Spector with the profits from the hugely successful motorcycle classic Easy Rider, these cedar-and-redwood cabins were designed to blend into and be at one with the landscape. A total renovation in 2008 preserved the high-end, all-natural ’70s aesthetic (think stone fireplaces and light flooding through huge windows) while updating the property with modern necessities. Ventana’s 60 rustic-chic guest rooms are done up in restful colors of sage, russet, and cream with huge King beds and river rock fireplaces that bring the natural world inside, as well as big windows and decks that look out onto California’s most spectacular scenery—towering redwoods, craggy canyons, and white-capped waves. Spa-like bathrooms encourage relaxation with deep soaking tubs and rainfall shower heads. The luxury-camp-for-adults appeal takes hold quickly here. Overlooking a stretch of wild and unspoiled Big Sur coastline where the Santa Lucia range plunges into the Pacific, Ventana Inn & Spa sits on 243 wooded acres some 1,200 feet above the pounding surf. The resort’s trails meander through forests teeming with deer, falcon, fox, and wild turkey. The rocky shores reveal Mother Nature’s water-washed treasures to beachcombers, and cedar-walled Japanese hot tubs open to blue skies or starry nights. Tuck into locally sourced coastal dishes at The Restaurant at Ventana, where the sweeping Pacific Ocean views are just as good as the fresh fare.
In the Area
The Henry Miller Library has a display of novelist Henry Miller’s original manuscripts. Check ahead for a schedule of outdoor concerts by the likes of Philip Glass and Arcade Fire. Point Sur Lighthouse — dramatically positioned on a volcanic rock high above the Pacific — is worth the walk. The Ambrosia Burger on the deck of 1940s Nepenthe restaurant, in a cliffside house once owned by Orson Welles and his bride Rita Hayworth, is aptly named and worth the wait, which can be quite long on weekends. Hunks of California jade wash up at Jade Cove, one of the most beautiful beaches on the Big Sur coast. Jade colors range from the traditional green to light blue to pure black. Low tide is the best time to look. The Coast Gallery, established in 1958 in a historic house nestled in Redwood Canyon (1,000 feet above sea level with uninterrupted views of Big Sur and the headland), is a great place to buy art.
How to Get There
Overall, the stay was amazing! The bed far exceeded our expectations. There were a few disappointing moments with the service. We weren’t expecting much so it didn’t really bother us, but for that price range it may be upsetting to some.
The glamping tents are set underneath the redwood forests of Big Sur which was was breathtaking! The beds were very comfortable and provided more than enough heat for the winter. The bath house was clean and the water was vert hot! I suggest calling before committing to the high nightly rate as we booked in advanced and then after was told the resort would be closed all weekend so no use of the restaurant or spa sadly!
Best Meal of my life, no joke. The Potato Leak soup was literally the best thing I've ever eaten, i'm not sure how that was possible?!! I love real camping, but the glamping was perfect for giving me a little outdoors and peace without putting all of the effort into doing it the real manly way, lol.
Glamping at Ventana was an amazing experience. We paid a little extra for a tent away from others with more privacy, and it was perfect. The grounds are beautiful and the staff is very welcoming. And best of all, heated blankets which made camping in 42 degree weather (with rain) comfortable and cozy. Being able to stay in the middle of the redwoods was a magical experience.
this place was awesome. the resort is breath taking, the glamping site is incredible. every detail has been thought about. the staff was great. we were very happy with our stay. my only recommendation would be to give the spa a skip, overpriced and not worth it in my opinion.